Employee development & retention

Employee development and retention are important aspects that ensure Novozymes remains an attractive employer and a high performing business.


Novozymes strives to ensure the continuous development of people's professional and personal competencies as well as the long term employability of employees. Employee satisfaction and motivation are seen as key to increasing productivity, reducing absence, ensuring high-quality products, and retaining employees at Novozymes. Consequently, a specific target on employee satisfaction and motivation well above benchmark has been set in the company’s Strategy and long term targets.

Initiatives & activities

People development

According to Touch the World it is mandatory for all managers to take care of their employees’ skill development process. Internal tools and IT systems are used for target-setting, annual performance reviews, and development planning, covering 100% of the workforce. All employees have a development plan that takes future trends and the organization’s development into account and includes concrete development action planning. Short- and long-term targets in the development plan are reviewed at least annually.

Employee satisfaction

All employees have the opportunity to express their opinions in an annual survey called People's Opinion. The survey is standardized and operated by a third party. It is a widely used survey, which gives Novozymes a valuable benchmark of the results. People’s Opinion is used in the departments to identify improvement areas and activities through a structured follow-up process.

Novozymes’ minimum standards of social responsibility

Novozymes has an internal set of minimum standards based on international conventions and covering freedom of association, nondiscrimination, working hours, wages and benefits, disciplinary measures, child labor, and forced labor. Every employee and every business unit must comply with these standards, and compliance is assessed once a year through self-assessments and social audits.

Grievance mechanism

Employees can file complaints on discrimination to the Novozymes Ombudsman – a person appointed to investigate complaints made by employees. For non-employee stakeholders, for example job applicants, grievances regarding discrimination on the above grounds should be brought to the attention of the head of Human Resources (called People & Organization at Novozymes).


All employees’ remuneration in a given year consists of a fixed salary plus a potential cash bonus and stock options. The Board of Directors considers that the best results are achieved when a relatively large part of the total remuneration for Executive Management is dependent on the fulfillment of the members’ individual goals and Novozymes’ social, environmental, and financial goals. The remuneration is dependent on performance relative to targets. Please see Corporate governance.

Work flexibilityAt each Novozymes site worldwide we offer benefits packages that vary by location. 


Management system & guidelines

For Novozymes’ overall commitment to labor aspects, please refer to Novozymes’ sustainability policy, people policy, position on human rights, and position on diversity and equal opportunities. The operational responsibility for labor aspects related to employment, training, education, development, and retention is placed locally with People & Organization directors at the regional sites, who report to the regional presidents. Most employment aspects, including minimum periods of notice, are based on local legislation and included in individual employment contracts.

Targets & KPIs

  • Employees satisfaction: Reach a score of at least 75 for employees’ "satisfaction and motivation” in the 2014 employee survey.
  • Employee development: 100% coverage. Reach a score of at least 75 for employees’ "opportunities for professional and personal development” in the 2014 employee survey.
  • Rate of absence: Keep employee absence below 2%.